Virtual Press Briefing by Spokesperson for Secretary-General

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13-Oct-2020 00:14:49
Briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.

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In a ceremony at the General Assembly this morning, the Secretary-General extended his profound condolences to the family of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and to the Government and people of Kuwait on the Amir’s passing.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) today released its State of Climate Services Report, which says that over the past 50 years extreme weather and climate events have increased in frequency, intensity and severity as a result of climate change and hit vulnerable communities disproportionately hard.

This morning, at the Security Council, the Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region, Huang Xia, noted the commitment of governments in the region to continue working towards improved security, economic and political cooperation. He said that despite the impact of the pandemic, the past few months have seen encouraging advances, although persistent challenges remain.

Earlier today, the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, spoke virtually at the Paris Institute of Political Studies about the situation in the greater Sahel region. He highlighted the devastating effects of the convergence of conflict and insecurity, weak governance, chronic underdevelopment and poverty, demographic pressures, and climate change on the people of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, and the north-east of Nigeria.

The UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) has welcomed the appointment on Sunday of five women judges who will work in two new specialized courts in Benghazi and Tripoli, dedicated to hearing cases of violence against women and children.

In Afghanistan, our humanitarian colleagues tell us that continued fighting between Afghan National Security Forces and non-state armed groups in the south, near Lashkargah city in Helmand Province, has reportedly displaced about 35,000 people.

In Iran, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has stepped up its cash assistance to support thousands of extremely vulnerable refugees whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) continues to support local authorities and communities in their fight against COVID-19.

In a joint statement, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Health Organization (WHO) today stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to public health, food systems and the world of work.

Today is the International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction. In his message, the Secretary-General says that extreme weather events have risen dramatically over the past two decades and yet, we have seen little progress on reducing climate disruption and environmental degradation.

Tomorrow, we will be joined by UN Chief Economist and Assistant Secretary-General Elliot Harris and Leila Foure, Chief Executive Officer of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and co-chair of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance. They will be here to discuss their action plan to scale up investment in sustainable development.

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